Normally, bewildered readership, I struggle to find any sense of kinship with our hirsute brethren north of the border, but even I as a true son of St George (making me a Palestinian it would seem) have now found some sympathy with the plight of the Scottish consumer.

As if living under a constantly freezing, leaden-skied dreich in the dullest extremity of this joyless isle wasn't bad enough, the Celts (a fabricated term, the Scots are every bit as much a mongrel race as the rest of us) are now having every simple human pleasure prised away from them by Slippery Salmond and the cross-party killjoys.

Scottish politicians are trying to eradicate all the small luxuries that make life beyond Carlisle even faintly tolerable booze, fags, porn and, er, that's it. Now, we know there's a very modest alcohol problem in Scotland, but is it entirely fair to punish an entire population by turning off the pipeline that pumps tonic wine straight down the throats of every wee ned and schemie in Paisley?

And what of the poor Devonian monks, deprived of their harmless pastoral trade making the famous liver-dissolving commotion lotion?

Next politicians on both sides of the border want to remove the pretty labels on cigarette packets. It has seemingly been scientifically proven that scribbling out 'Marlboro' from a packet of tabs will cure the problem instantly mainly because most of the CTNs that flog them will go out of business.

And now my parliamentary colleague Lindsay Roy, the startled-looking MP for the grim ghetto of Glenrothes, wants to ban the two or three small shopkeepers left in Scotland from displaying fine art magazines like Zipper and Scandinavian Carpet Munchers among the Beanos. Look, Lindsay, your countrymen are not a particularly tall race. So cut them some slack and let them put the jazz mags at ground level. It'll stop them from coming down here, at any rate.

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